Relieving Arthritis Pain With Heat or Cold Therapy

Relieving Arthritis Pain With Heat or Cold Therapy

By Heidi Godman, Contributor  | Featured on US News

ARTHRITIS PAIN CAN BE disabling. Stiff, swollen, aching joints may keep you from doing the activities you love or the ones required to get through each day, like walking or dressing. While prescription medication and physical therapy are the first line of defense for addressing arthritis causes, an age-old home remedy – heat or cold therapy – may help reduce pain and improve range of motion. “It doesn’t change or improve arthritis, but it can provide symptom relief,” says Dr. M. Elaine Husni, a rheumatologist and physician scientist at Cleveland Clinic.

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Stem Cell Clinics Sell Bogus Cures for Knee Pain

Stem Cell Clinics Sell Bogus ‘Cures’ for Knee Pain

By Dennis Thompson | Featured on WebMD

Stem cell clinics are charging big money for knee arthritis “cures” and making extravagant claims about their therapies, a new study contends. A same-day injection for one knee costs thousands of dollars at these centers, according to a consumer survey taken of clinics across the United States.

People are paying that kind of cash because two-thirds of stem cell clinics promise that their treatments work 80 to 100 percent of the time, researchers report. But there’s no medical evidence suggesting that any stem cell therapy can provide a lasting cure for knee arthritis, said study lead researcher Dr. George Muschler, an orthopedic surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic.

“There are claims made about efficacy [effectiveness] that aren’t supported by the literature,” Muschler said. “There’s a risk of charlatanism, and patients should be aware.”Stem cells have gained a reputation as a miracle treatment and potential cure for many ailments. The cells have the potential to provide replacement cells for any part of the body — blood, brain, bones or organs. As a result, a wave of stem cell centers have opened up around the country, offering cures for a variety of diseases, Muschler said.

“It’s very sexy to market yourself as a stem cell center, so there’s been a boom of centers, probably close to 600 now in the United States offering this therapy,” Muschler said. “But the truth is that the medical literature hasn’t quite caught up to the enthusiasm in the marketplace.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed extreme skepticism over these centers, and in November the agency announced that it would crack down on clinics offering dangerous stem cell treatments. The “pie-in-the-sky” dream for knee arthritis patients is that a stem cell injection will produce fresh new protective cartilage in their joint, said Dr. Scott Rodeo, an orthopedic surgeon with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

“The reality is they don’t do that. There is zero data to suggest that,” said Rodeo, who wasn’t involved with the study. “The idea these cells are going to regenerate cartilage — there’s zero data.”

At best, these injections might temporarily reduce pain and inflammation by prompting the release of soothing chemicals in the knee, Rodeo and Muschler said. To get an idea what stem cell centers are promising customers, Muschler and his colleagues called 273 U.S. clinics posing as a 57-year-old man with knee arthritis.The clinics were asked about same-day stem cell injections, how well they work and how much they cost. Of the 65 centers that provided pricing information, the average cost for a knee injection was $5,156, with prices ranging from $1,150 to $12,000, the researchers found. Fourteen centers charged less than $3,000 for a single injection, while 10 centers charged more than $8,000.

The 36 centers that provided information on effectiveness claimed an average effectiveness of 82 percent, the researchers said. Of them, 10 claimed that the injection worked 9 out of 10 times, and another 15 claimed 80 to 90 percent effectiveness. The findings were presented Tuesday at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ annual meeting, in New Orleans. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“Patients are being told there’s an 80 percent likelihood of improvement, which is only 10 to 20 percent better than you’d expect from a placebo effect,” Muschler said. In fact, he suspects that the placebo effect is responsible for much of the improvement patients feel following a knee injection.

“People always show up to the doctor when they hurt,” Muschler said. “If I see a patient who has arthritis in their knee and I do nothing, there’s a very good chance they’re going to get better over the coming months, anyway. There’s this natural cycle of increasing and decreasing pain that’s present in the life of someone who has arthritis.”

That’s compounded by the fact that people expect to feel better after shelling out a load of cash, Muschler added. These centers generally provide three different types of treatment, only one of which actually has live stem cells involved, Muschler said.

One treatment injects the knee with platelet-rich plasma drawn from the patient’s own blood, while another uses a slurry produced from fetal tissue and fluid gathered after birth. Neither of these contains stem cells, but they are marketed as stem cell therapies, Muschler said.

A third option involves bone marrow taken from the patient and injected into the knee. This does contain a mixture of three types of stem cells, but “the evidence that you’re doing [your knees] a favor is still pretty weak in the literature,” Muschler said.People aren’t likely to be harmed by these injections, Rodeo said, but there’s not a lot of evidence that they’ll be helped. “Patients should go into it eyes wide open,” Rodeo said. “They’re paying a lot of money out of pocket, because these are not covered by insurers.” Knee arthritis sufferers would be better off trying many of the established options for reducing knee pain, Muschler and Rodeo said.

Losing weight is a “key factor,” Muschler said. “There’s very good evidence that if you are at a 5 on the pain scale and you lose 10 percent of your body weight, your pain will drop 2 points,” Muschler said. Patients also can use NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling, get a steroid injection, or perform weight training to strengthen the muscles that support the knee, Muschler and Rodeo said.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

A Patient's Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Patient’s Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Elaine K. Howley | Featured on US News

The human body is an incredibly complex machine. Most of the time, all the parts work correctly, with various gears and components clicking in harmony. But occasionally, something gets out of whack. When this happens, the guardian of the machine – the immune system – can get turned around and begin attacking the body it usually protects. This is what happens in an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease that affects the joints.

About Arthritis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “arthritis means inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. It describes more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness.”

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments in America. According to the March 2017 edition of Vital Signs, a monthly report issued by the CDC, about 54 million adults in the United States – about 25 percent of all adults – have arthritis. In addition, about 300,000 children also have some form of arthritis. About 24 million people are disabled by their arthritis, making it the leading cause of disability in the U.S.

The most common form of arthritis in adults is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis. It develops as a person ages and it gets progressively worse with age. “When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic,” the Arthritis Foundation reports.

Rheumatoid arthritis is unrelated to osteoarthritis, but it’s the third most common form of arthritis in America, affecting about 1.5 million people. “It’s an incredibly serious disease,” says Dr. John J. Cush, a rheumatologist and the director of clinical rheumatology for the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute and professor of medicine and rheumatology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Signs and Symptoms of RA

Many of the symptoms of RA are similar to those of osteoarthritis, and like OA, RA is progressive in nature, wearing down the joints and your body with inflammation over time. The CDC reports “RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance) and deformity (misshapenness).” In most patients, symptoms begin slowly and build over weeks or months. RA often begins as a little stiffness in one or more joints – often in the hands, wrists or feet.

Like other types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. But many patients with rheumatoid arthritis have symptoms on both sides of the body. This symmetry is a hallmark of RA that doesn’t typically happen in other types of arthritis. RA also tends to affect more joints at once than other types of arthritis.

The CDC reports “there are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission.” In addition to pain, swelling and stiffness, people with RA may also experience tenderness in more than one joint, weight loss, fever, fatigue and weakness in the affected limbs.

Although RA targets the joints, it can also have negative impacts on other parts of the body and increase your risk for developing other chronic diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, the Mayo Clinic reports that RA causes inflammation in the body that can lead to scarring within the lungs, lung nodules (small lumps in the lung) and pleural disease (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the lungs). These can all lead to breathing problems. If you have RA and experience any issues with breathing, see your doctor right away.

Inflammation is also the primary culprit behind the heart problems that some RA patients experience, the Arthritis Foundation reports. “Having RA doubles the risk of most heart problems, including heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis – the buildup of fat, cholesterol and cellular debris (plaque) on blood vessel walls.” A 2015 Mayo Clinic study published in BioMed Research International also found that people with RA are at increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. AF is an irregular heartbeat and significant risk factor for strokes. Dr. Roger Kornu, a rheumatologist with the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, says “most RA patients die from heart attack or stroke.”

Some RA patients also experience eye problems, the Mayo Clinic reports. “The most common eye-related symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is dryness. Dry eyes are prone to infection, and if untreated, severe dry eyes can cause damage to the corneas, the clear, dome-shaped surface of the eye that helps your eye focus.” Dry eyes may also be a sign of Sjogren’s syndrome, another autoimmune disorder associated with RA.

Risk Factors

The National Institutes of Health report that the exact cause of RA is unknown, but that genetics, environmental factors and hormones may all play a role in whether a person develops RA. Sex, age and lifestyle also appear to be risk factors. Women are more likely to develop RA than men. Although children and older adults may also develop RA, it most commonly strikes adults. The Arthritis Foundation reports that “in women, RA most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life. Having a family member with RA increases the odds of having RA; however, the majority of people with RA have no family history of the disease.”

Smoking has also been identified as a risk factor for RA. Exactly how they’re connected isn’t certain, but the Mayo Clinic reports “researchers suspect smoking somehow ignites faulty immune system functioning in people genetically predisposed to getting rheumatoid arthritis.”

Diagnosis

Diagnosing RA isn’t easy; its early symptoms mimic those of many other diseases, making it challenging to arrive at the right diagnosis. Your doctor will perform a physical exam to check for swelling, redness and warmth in the joints and to check your reflexes and muscle strength. You’ll also likely have some blood tests looking for autoimmune markers in the blood that may indicate an elevated level of inflammation. You may also have imaging tests, such as X-rays, an MRI or ultrasound to get a closer look at what’s going on inside your joints.

Treatment

Although rheumatoid arthritis is incurable, it can be well managed with a class of powerful medications designed to reorient your body’s immune response. The Arthritis Foundation reports that “with autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical. Slowing disease activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent joint damage. Remission is the goal and may be achieved through the use of one or more medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage.”

The Mayo Clinic reports that your doctor may also recommend you take NSAIDs – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), which are available over-the-counter. You may also be prescribed stronger NSAIDs. Steroids can also help relieve pain and inflammation in more acute cases. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may also slow the progression of joint damage.

In addition to medication, you may need to work with a physical or occupational therapist to learn exercises that keep the joints flexible.

In some cases, surgery is an option for treating joints damaged by RA. These procedures may include:

  • Synovectomy – to remove the synovium, or lining of the joint.
  • Tendon repair – to repair loose or ruptured tendons.
  • Joint fusion – to stabilize or realign a joint for pain relief.
  • Total joint replacement – to remove the damaged parts of a joint and insert a metal or plastic prosthesis.

Researchers are also finding that physical activity and exercise can help alleviate symptoms and slow the progression of RA. Obesity also appears to make the symptoms of RA worse, so eating right and keeping your weight in check can also help you manage the disease.

5 Best Low Impact Cardio Exercises for People with Bad Knees

5 Best Low Impact Cardio Exercises for People with Bad Knees

Article By Francesca Menato | Featured on Women’s Health

Anyone with a knee injury, new or old, will know how easy it is to feel it flair up with extreme cardio. Running, in particular, is very tough on the knees – so what exercises can you do to get the heart rate up, without hurting already bad knees?

We caught up with Lorraine Furmedge, Fitness First PT Ambassador, to find out the best workouts and exercises for bad knees.

Before you lace up your running shoes and risk another niggle, try these.

1. Swimming

If you’re on the search for cardio exercises for bad knees, head to the pool. Swimming provides a great workout that is low impact, versatile and burns calories fast. Whether you’re doing the butterfly or backstroke you’ll work all major muscle groups in your body including your glutes, abdominals and chest muscles.

Wondering which is the best stroke?

Freestyle, which tends to be the fastest stroke, can burn 100 calories every 10 minutes – more than jogging – but all of them will work your whole body.

2. Elliptical

Opt for an elliptical over a treadmill for minimal risk of knee injury. Your feet never leave the pedals, which means there is less of a chance to injure your knees, back, neck or hips. You’ll also get your heart rate up, making you work up a sweat! Increase the resistant to really test your endurance.

There’s a lot of discussion around which cardio machines burn more calories, and generally, the treadmill does tend to come out on top given you are moving whilst also supporting the full weight of your body but elliptical trainers are fantastic for getting in a great cardio workout with a bit more support.

With any form of exercise, you get out what you put in so it all depends on how hard you push and challenge yourself.

3. Stationary rowing

Rowing is a great way to burn calories without placing stress on your knee joints. Not only will you get a total body workout, you’ll also maximise your core strength with every pull.

Amp up the intensity by increasing the resistance while maintaining speed for a real cardiovascular challenge.

The more you train on a certain machine, the more stamina and strength your body will gain in that particular area, meaning the harder you have to work each time to continue challenging yourself.

If calorie burning is your main aim, switch up your routine and use a mixture of machines and freestyle training – it will keep your body guessing and will test you in different ways.

4. Cycling

Whether you prefer hitting a stationary bike indoors or riding your bicycle outside, you’ll get a fantastic fat-burning workout that will gradually improve your knee flexibility and strength.

To ensure you don’t put pressure on your knees, avoid hills and stick to a flat terrain. Raise your seat level slightly to decrease any pressure on your kneecap.

Wondering what resistance you should use? When it comes to cycling with resistance, there is no right or wrong answer.

Low resistance is great for those people who are just getting into fitness as it allows you to start building up your stamina without over-exerting yourself. Likewise, those suffering with knee injuries may find this an effective and low impact way of getting their regular exercise sessions in without causing further damage.

Medium and high resistance is more suited to those with higher fitness levels and works really well when it comes to building strength in your legs and lower body. If you’ve recently recovered from a knee injury consider using resistance to increase your strength and safeguard against any further damage.

To combine cardio and strength try some interval training and switch between low resistance sprints and medium-high resistance climbs.

Wondering about spin classes? Don’t fret. All good spin instructors will check for injuries before the class begins so let them know and they’ll be able to advise on how to best tackle the session.

Plus, the beauty of spin is that you can carry out the class at your own pace. Remember, you are in control and can adjust your pace according to your ability.

5. Step ups

For a low-impact cardio workout, turn to an aerobic step bench.

Step up onto the step with your right foot. Tap your left foot on the top of the step and then lower.

As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle to ensure you’re protecting your knees.

Repeat 10 times for a great calorie burn.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

orthopaedic doctors, new mexico

Healthy Aging: Preserving Your Bones and Joints

Whether you’re a young adult, baby boomer or senior, here’s what you can do now.

Article Featured on US News

PAUL SCHNEIDER, 90, OF Palm Harbor, Florida, starts his morning exercise with 100 situps. A couple golf matches a week, plus weight and aerobic workouts at his fitness club, also keep him flexible and strong.

Schneider stays slender and watches what he eats. He drinks water, not soda. He takes Tums for calcium, as well as fish oil and vitamin D supplements. He was never sedentary, either as a sales manager in the emerging computer industry or as a father of four. “I have fortunately – knock on wood – never broken a bone,” he says.

As aging conspires to chip away at your bone and joint health, experts explain what you can do to maintain these through every phase of life:

Start Early

Bone and joint health begin in childhood, says Dr. Sundeep Khosla, director of the Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program within the Mayo Clinic’s Kogod Center on Aging.

“Physical activity is important for loading the bones and helping them develop as strong as they can,” Khosla says. Parents can watch that kids don’t replace milk with sodas, thereby missing out on calcium. And it’s never too soon to discourage smoking, which can affect bone mass.

The adolescent growth spurt brings a marked rise in fractures, Khosla says. It’s believed when the skeleton is rapidly growing, an increased need for calcium may cause thinning, especially in delicate wrist bones. “So when these kids fall, they get wrist fractures,” he says.

If these fractures occur with mild injuries, like falling from a low height, that’s a sign kids have skeletal defects tied to low bone mass, Khosla says. “And that low bone mass tracks into young adulthood.”

Pillars of Bone Health

When it comes to healthy aging, Paul Schneider has an expert in his corner. His daughter, Dr. Diane Schneider,​ is a geriatrician, osteoporosis expert and author of “The Complete Book of Bone Health.”

Calcium, vitamin D, diet and exercise are the cornerstones of bone health, she says. Staying at a healthy weight is important: “You don’t want to be carrying around extra weight because that’s what’s going to start wearing out your hips and knees.”

What’s good for the bones isn’t necessarily good for the joints. “For your skeleton, you want weight-bearing exercises,” Schneider says. “But for your joints, weight-bearing exercises may also contribute to wearing them out.” She advises moderation and variety: If you’re a dedicated runner, for instance, work out with weights at the gym for a change.

Young Adult Challenges

“Your late 20s, early 30s is when you achieve what is called peak bone mass,” Schneider says. But college and career demands can disrupt health and exercise regimens, even for people who were active as teens.

Diet also changes for young adults, like drinking less milk. Schneider advises limiting caffeinated beverages – soda and coffee – particularly if your calcium intake is low. She recommends water instead. Alcohol consumption can affect bone health. “Moderate drinking, which would be one or two alcoholic beverages, is OK,” Schneider says. “More than that is too much.”

If you can’t cover the recommended calcium intake for your age group, Schneider says, either do a “menu makeover” to put calcium-rich food in your diet, or use a calcium supplement.

“Try to limit meals on the go,” she says. “They tend to be higher in sodium and carbohydrates and scant on vegetables.” And like alcohol, they can lead to putting on pounds.

Staying active isn’t always easy. “Try to schedule your exercise time and spend more time on your feet,” Schneider says. In the workplace, innovations like standing desks let employees sit less.

Maintain Bone Mass in Midlife

Middle age is a critical period for bone and joint health. After 50, calcium requirements for post-menopausal women rise from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams,​ Schneider notes – but calorie requirements don’t. As metabolism slows, weight can creep up. “So women may need more time to maintain their fitness,” Schneider says.

Making time to exercise isn’t easy for the sandwich generation. Try working fitness into your day: strapping on a pedometer for 10,000 steps, parking farther from your building, taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Exercises to strengthen muscles also help protect the joints they support, Schneider says, which is important when arthritis shows up in middle age.

“With women, of course, the menopausal transition is when you really start accelerating bone loss because of the hormonal level fluctuations,” she says. Men also experience hormonal changes, with both testosterone and estrogen, but their bone loss is more gradual and less marked, Schneider says.

Avoiding osteoporosis  the silent condition that eats away at bones, leaving them thin, weak and vulnerable to breaks – is paramount. The National Osteoporosis Foundation offers guidelines for when people should undergo a bone-density test (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA scan) based on their age, gender and risk factors – such as family history, smoking and certain medications.

Senior Strong

Faye Strum, 75, a retired teacher in La Jolla, California, hasn’t let osteoporosis disrupt her active life. About 18 years ago, she learned she had the condition after undergoing a bone scan during a routine checkup. Until then, Strum had no idea her bones were at risk. “I am of small stature,” she says. With the diagnosis, “I didn’t want to lose any height. And I’ve always been active, so I wanted to keep my muscles strong.”

Strum has taken bone-building medications and safeguards her bones while staying active. “I do more specialized exercise. I take in plenty of calcium. And I’m careful in how much I do in terms of lifting,” she says. “I don’t pick up little grandchildren and hold them up high.” She continues to walk and play tennis, and attends a healthy-bone class twice a week at a nearby sport-and-health center, where she works out with weights and bands and does balance exercise. And she attends a weekly gentle-yoga class.

Balance and core-strength exercise such as yoga and Tai Chi reduce your risk of falls and resulting fractures, Schneider says.

Improve Your ‘Health Span’

It’s never too late to optimize your bone health, Khosla says. “There are now drugs – and more drugs on the horizon – that can build your bone back up,” he says. “So you can at least partially reverse the bone loss.”

His group is working to better understand the underlying causes of bone aging and pinpoint people at higher risk of fractures. While DEXA is an “excellent” diagnostic tool, he says, upcoming imaging tools can provide detailed information on bone structure. And researchers are working on new tests to determine the quality of a patient’s bone.

“While extending lifespan is important, it doesn’t really help if that lifespan you extend is full of disability and pain,” Khosla says. In the aging-research community, the newer concept is extending “health span,” he says. “So you may not necessarily extend the actual life from 95 or 100 or whatever. But within that time frame, you’ll have more years of the better quality of life and healthier life.”


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

What is joint replacement surgery?

Original Article: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


What is joint replacement surgery?

Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.

Replacing a joint can reduce pain and help you move and feel better. Hips and knees are replaced most often. Other joints that can be replaced include the shoulders, fingers, ankles, and elbows.

Points To Remember About Joint Replacement Surgery

  • Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.
  • The goals of joint replacement surgery are to relieve pain, help the joint work better, and improve walking and other movements.
  • Risks of problems after joint replacement surgery are much lower than they used to be.
  • An exercise program can reduce joint pain and stiffness.
  • Wearing away of the joint surface may become a problem after 15 to 20 years.

Why may joint replacement surgery be needed?

Joints may need to be replaced when they are damaged from:

  • Arthritis
  • Years of use
  • Disease

Your doctor will likely first suggest other treatments to reduce pain and help you move better, such as:

  • Walking aids, such as a cane or walker
  • An exercise program
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications

Sometimes the pain remains and makes daily activities hard to do. In this case, your doctor may order an x-ray to look at the joint. If the x-ray shows damage and your joint hurts, you may need a joint replacement.


What happens during joint replacement surgery?

During joint replacement your doctors will:

An illustration showing a hip prosthesis that is used in hip replacement surgery.
Hip Replacement Location
  • Give you medicine so you won’t feel pain. The medicine may block the pain only in one part of the body, or it may put your whole body to sleep.
  • Replace the damaged joint with a new man-made joint.
  • Move you to a recovery room until you are fully awake or the numbness goes away.


What can I expect after joint replacement surgery?

With knee or hip surgery, you will probably need to stay in the hospital for a few days. If you are elderly or have additional disabilities, you may then need to spend several weeks in an intermediate-care facility before going home. You and your team of doctors will determine how long you stay in the hospital.

After hip or knee replacement, you will often stand or begin walking the day of surgery. At first, you will walk with a walker or crutches. You may have some temporary pain in the new joint because your muscles are weak from not being used. Also, your body is healing. The pain can be helped with medicines and should end in a few weeks or months.

Physical therapy can begin the day after surgery to help strengthen the muscles around the new joint and help you regain motion in the joint. If you have your shoulder joint replaced, you can usually begin exercising the same day of your surgery! A physical therapist will help you with gentle, range-of-motion exercises. Before you leave the hospital, your therapist will show you how to use a pulley device to help bend and extend your arm.


What are the complications of joint replacement surgery?

Complications after joint replacement surgery are much lower than they used to be. When problems do occur, most are treatable. Problems could include:

  • Infection.
  • Blood clots.
  • Loosening of the joint.
  • Ball of the new joint comes out of its socket.
  • Wear on joint replacements.
  • Nerve and blood vessel injury.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

All you need to know about jaw popping

Original Article By Jayne Leonard

Jaw popping refers to a clicking sound from the jaw, which can be accompanied by sensations of pain.

Sometimes jaw popping can arise from overextending the jaw, such as by opening the mouth too wide when yawning or eating. At other times, it results from problems in the functioning of the temporomandibular joints or the joints that connect the jawbone to the sides of the skull.

Dysfunction of these joints is known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), although the condition may be incorrectly referred to as TMJ.

Fast facts on jaw popping:

  • Jaw popping without accompanying pain is not typically a cause for concern.
  • If certain health conditions underlie the popping, medical intervention may be needed.
  • The cause of jaw popping is not completely understood.
  • Jaw popping can often be treated at home, especially if there is no pain or other symptoms.

Symptoms

A clicking of popping sound in the jaw may be a sign of temporomandibular disorder.

Jaw popping may be the only symptom experienced. However, TMD can often cause other symptoms as well, including:

  • pain and discomfort
  • tenderness in the face or jaw
  • difficulty opening the mouth wide
  • jaws that “lock” in an open or closed position
  • difficulty eating
  • facial swelling
  • toothache
  • headache
  • neck ache
  • earache

 

Causes

TMD is thought to arise from issues with the jaw muscles or the temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

According to the National Institute of Craniofacial Research, TMD affects over 10 million people, with women having it more often than men.

However, anyone of any age or gender can experience jaw popping, which may be linked to behaviors such as:

  • grinding the teeth
  • chewing gum regularly or excessively
  • nail-biting
  • clenching the jaw
  • biting the inside of the cheek or lip

Also, several medical conditions can lead to jaw popping, including:

Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease of the joints. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, both of which can result in cartilage damage in the TMJ.

Destruction of the TMJ cartilage tissue can make jaw movements difficult and can cause a popping sound and clicking sensation in the joint.

Other symptoms of arthritis include:

  • joint pain
  • stiffness
  • inflammation or swelling
  • a reduced range of motion

Also, people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience fatigue and appetite loss.

Injury to the jaw

girl about to eat strip of chewing gum

Nail-biting, teeth grinding, and frequent chewing of gum may be associated with jaw popping.

A broken or dislocated jaw, which happens when the joint of the jaw becomes unhinged, can cause jaw popping.

Common causes of injury to the jaw include:

  • road traffic collisions
  • sporting injuries
  • trips and falls
  • physical assaults

It is important to seek medical treatment for a jaw injury, particularly if accompanied by:

  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • swelling

Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder that causes pain in certain trigger points of some muscles. It occurs after a muscle is contracted repetitively over time. Therefore, it may affect those that have jobs or engage in sporting activities that require repetitive movement.

Myofascial pain syndrome in the jaw can lead to jaw popping.

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • muscular pain
  • persistent or progressive pain
  • tender points in muscle
  • sleep difficulties
  • changes in mood

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder characterized by shallow breathing or one or more pauses in breathing, during sleep.

There are two forms of sleep apnea called obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Both can cause jaw popping.

Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • headaches
  • mood disorders

People with obstructive sleep apnea may also snore in their sleep.

As sleep apnea can increase the risk of several serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and obesity, people with sleep problems should seek immediate medical treatment.

Malocclusion of the teeth

Also known as an overbite or underbite, malocclusion of the teeth causes misalignment of the jaw and the mouth. This can lead to jaw popping or clicking.

Malocclusion of the teeth will usually require professional orthodontic treatment.

Infection

In some cases, jaw popping is caused by an infection of the glands of the mouth.

Other signs and symptoms of oral infections include:

  • dry mouth
  • a bad taste in the mouth
  • facial pain
  • inflammation

Antibiotics or other treatments may be necessary to treat oral infections.

Treatmeat

A nightguard may be prescribed to help prevent tooth grinding while sleeping.

Depending on the cause of the jaw popping or the presence of other medical conditions, professional interventions may be necessary for some cases.

Treatment options include:

  • Medication: High doses of NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety drugs, or antidepressants may be prescribed by a doctor or dentist to manage TMD.
  • Mouthpieces: A splint or nightguard may be used to prevent or manage clenching or grinding of the teeth. These devices can also treat malocclusion of the teeth.
  • Dental work: Overbites, underbites, and other dental issues may be addressed through dental work to reduce jaw popping.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): Using electrical currents, TENS relaxes the muscles of the jaw and face to relieve pain.
  • Pain-relieving injections: For people with myofascial pain syndrome, injections into trigger points may provide relief from jaw pain.
  • Ultrasound: Applying heat to the joint may improve jaw mobility and stop the pain.
  • Laser therapy or radio wave therapy: These treatments stimulate movement and ease pain in the jaw, mouth, and neck.
  • Surgery: This is usually the last resort for people with jaw popping. The type of surgery required will depend on the underlying issue.

For anyone considering surgery for jaw popping symptoms, they should get a second or third opinion before going through with this treatment.

Outlook

Usually, jaw popping is a temporary condition that clears up with at-home treatments and lifestyle changes.

However, people who experience jaw popping that persists, worsens, recurs, or is accompanied by pain or other symptoms, should consult their doctor. It is important to address the underlying cause of jaw popping to prevent other complications from arising.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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When it Comes to Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis, More is Better

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Researchers previously showed that overweight and obese individuals with knee osteoarthritis can reduce pain by 50% and significantly improve function and mobility with a 10% or more weight loss over an 18-month period. The investigators’ latest findings, which are published in Arthritis Care & Research, reveal that a 20% or more weight loss has the added benefit of continued improvement in physical health-related quality of life along with an additional 25% reduction in pain and improvement in function.

The results come from a secondary analysis of diet-only and diet plus exercise groups in the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis (IDEA) randomized controlled trial. A total of 240 overweight and obese older community-dwelling adults with pain and knee osteoarthritis were divided into four groups according to weight loss achieved over an 18-month period: less than 5% (<5% group), between 5 and 9.9% (?5% group), between 10 and 19.9% (? 10% group), and 20% and greater (?20% group).

The researchers found that the greater the weight loss, the better participants fared in terms of pain, function, 6-minute walk distance, physical and mental health-related quality of life, knee joint compression force, and IL-6 (a marker of inflammation). Also, when comparing the two highest groups, the ?20% group had 25% less pain and better function than the ? 10% group, and significantly better health-related quality of life.

Obesity is a health issue worldwide and a major and modifiable risk factor for many of the more than 250 million adults with knee osteoarthritis. “Currently, there is no treatment that slows the progression or prevents this debilitating disease; hence, research has focused on improving clinical outcomes important to the patient,” said lead author Stephen Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, NC. “A 10% weight loss is the established target recommended by the National Institutes of Health as an initial weight loss for overweight and obese adults. The importance of our study is that a weight loss of 20% or greater — double the previous standard — results in better clinical outcomes, and is achievable without surgical or pharmacologic intervention.”


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Arthritis and Arthroscopy

Arthritis and Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is one of the most commonly performed procedures to help diagnose problems in the knee and shoulder, including arthritis. It’s a minor surgical procedure and performed on an outpatient basis.

Read more

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Caring for Someone With Arthritis

Article by Brett Sears | Found on VeryWell

Caring for a friend or family member with arthritis can be a challenging—yet rewarding—experience. Your loved one may have difficulty managing various components of the disease process, and being available as a trusted ally in their care can make a positive difference. But what are the best ways to help someone with arthritis?

If you have arthritis, then you know how the stiffness and pain can limit your ability to move and function properly.

The pain from arthritis can prevent you from walking properly, using your hands and arms, and enjoying your normal work and recreational activities. Encouraging family members and friends to help with your care can ensure that you manage your condition well and remain functionally independent as long as possible. Read more